#Knitcircle gift

WARNING: POSSIBLE TRIGGER ABOUT DEATH

Hi Knit Friends, in the knitting world, crafters are privy to some of the most heart wrenching and endearing moments when they enter a knitting circle. 2016 has been a challenging year. I have gained a better perspective, taken more risks, and experienced a great loss. In my knitting circle, I am never disappointed because I always leave a little lighter.

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I had a heartwarming chat with a new knit friend (Named V34). This is my first experience with a major death in my family. Only in a knit circle could one find sage advice. V34 shared her story of dealing with the loss of her husband. I was able to listen to her share and figure out how best to show up for my aunt. Several helpful things that I took from the talk was to let my aunt know that I am available for her, let our family grieve as they see fit, and to be of service for the bereaved. Even before his death, I had often come to the knit circle to vent or listen to fellow knitters. Knitting has become a way for me to focus my nervous energy. I would probably be bald from twisting my hair if I didn’t have knitting. I was working on Wheat Fields (picture above), but in my grief screwed up the sequence of lace. Just as life we can choose to handle things in certain ways. I chose to just leave the error because to an untrained eye the shawl has character. Perhaps a year ago, I’d rip out the large lace sequence- but not I’m just riding it out because my uncle lived his life with ease and humor. Rest easy Uncle.

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Self-care equals #knitting

Hello Knit Friends,

I have been working really hard to figure out if I should expend my energy on responding to the results of the recent U.S. election. My feelings about it aren’t even important at this point because I grew up in bible-belt Georgia. The acts of bigotry and disregard for people who are different was common place. The fact that Trump’s hate filled speech catapulted him to the presidency. I have learned the hard way that the America that I grew up in is the same America that showed itself after election day. I am disappointed that the American Dream was never meant for me because of the color of my skin, my agnostic beliefs, and my queer lifestyle.  The only jolt of surprise is the lack of participation from so-called Americans. No one really could predict that the third party interests and Christian fundamentalist women voters would tip the scale for Trump to become President.

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Below are several resources that I have started reviewing today to wrap my head around the reality that Trump will soon represent America. I understand the anger, fears, and anxiety that my fellow POCs feel because of the reality of what Trump’s presidency represents. I am thankful that I choose to use social media to stay connected to the marginalized voices that are often lost in mainstream media. A special thanks to my library friends for finding amazing resources. I’ve tried to be inclusive with the resources that I share so that allies and others who now realize that their neutrality is harmful.

Helpful article about how to ‘hold space’ for others who are dealing with difficult situations such as the emotional trauma of losing someone or even showing up to listen to people who upset about the U.S. election.

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9 Activist share stories of how they are reacting to the Trump Presidency

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Music is a huge tool for bringing people together through challenging times. I use Spotify to help find some music to escape – Also Alicia Key’s new album Here is out. I find myself revisiting Tracy Chapman music too.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s commentary on What it means to be Black in a Trump Administration

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For the intellectuals who likes to debate or read (like me) what a community of scholars have put together called the Trump Syllabus 2.0 – created by N. D. B. Connolly and Keisha N. Blain. It was created in June 2016 as the popularity of Trump began to grow. It is an objective reflection from all sides that include textbooks and commentary (below is a short summary)

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I am a firm believer that there will always be work to do. Many of us have different parts to play. We also have freewill to exercise our choices in how we show up. Do we choose to standup and do something for those who are oppressed, hurt, and emotionally devastated? I choose to offer alternatives to help my community cope with the difficult road ahead. As we all watch the destruction of laws and government fight against the democracy of its people. I will try to remain hopeful in my belief in the resiliency of humanity. I will dive deep into my knitting or contribute to holding space for those who often feel alone and invisible. You are not alone knit friends- I see you and you matter.

 

1st Book Club Plans

Hello Knit Friends,

October is almost over. 3 more days and it’s a wrap. I haven’t knitted consistently this whole month because I am still negotiating contracts to my new job. Just when I want to do a ‘big share’– some new email appears in my inbox inviting me to another interview. This time last year, was the similar song and dance as I had three interviews with no success. I can honestly say that last year’s work move was the start of me gaining confidence and being intentional about my future. The last six months has been filled with small increments of self improvement. I am not a boastful person, but I do see the benefit in acknowledging one’s hard work. 

Acknowledging one’s growth helps minimize ‘imposter syndrome’ that sometimes rears its ugly head. I tend to live in my head as a natural introvert, but will like to encourage others who have introversion tendencies to reach out to people. Reaching out for me to my small network has been so helpful. I have a friend who appointed herself head cheerleader on my encouragement squad. I am able to share ideas and strategize the next move because its healthier to communicate instead of relying on your own knowledge. The stress level becomes more manageable for me too.

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I have one week to read the book assigned for my very first book club. It is exciting and scary as I don’t often share publically my thoughts on race or emotionally-intense topics. I will hopefully share my experience from my first meeting with a group of strangers. The older I get the more I realize that my voice is valuable. I may never reach the level of vocal activism, but I am becoming more mindful of the things that I contribute my time to. I can see a distinct difference of the person that I once was in my twenties into the person that I am learning to be more patient and comfortable with.

I found some lovely knitted fall options that I want to share with everyone. I feel like I want a new project that requires needle size no smaller than 8s. Donna Smith’s popular Baa-ble hat from 2015 Shetland Wool Week. I discovered some scrap yarn that would work beautifully with the pattern.


Another exciting discovery is Brooklyn Tweed’s new yarn line called Arbor. Such a refreshing and balanced colorway choice. The muted and pastel colorways from the traditional BK line didn’t really appeal to me. look below for a sneaky peak at a lovely combo of grey and yellow. 


I’m motivated to try a quick colorwork project just to test the yarn. 

What’s got your pulse racing knitwise friends? Anticipating any new patterns or books? Any ideas for starting holiday knits? 

Almost Rhinebeck

Hi Knit Friends,

For a whole day last week I made plans to attend Rhinebeck. It was the best 24 hours, but unfortunately my riding mate had to cancel. No stress on me as I had plenty to do around the house. I’m prepping for my trip home next weekend and hope to finish a pair of belated bday socks. I was lucky to have a foot model at my LYS. She was a size 8 and the intended recipient is a size 8.5. 

This is called Patio Sock and I’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks. I love how the pattern is so easy to memorize and it’s not as crazy hard as it looks. I used some delicious Dragonfly Fibers Tardis colorway. 

I also made a tasty dinner to celebrate a new job. I received an offer and now I am working on the logistics. Broiled salmon and a mixed green salad is a quick meal to make.

This morning we tried a new brunch place. Iron Rooster in Baltimore has gotten several awesome reviews from open table so I decided to try it out. I’d definitely suggest to make reservations before coming. We went “early” at 9:30am and was able to get a reasonable wait time of 35 mins. We order Monkey Bread with Rum infused maple syrup with cinnamon raisin bread. The raisins were saturated with rum. The photo shows it in mid-consumption. 

I had fun following several IG buddies who attended Rhinebeck. Here are some beautiful things I’ve seen in my feed. The left corner of each picture denotes photo credit.

The Coddle Cowl by Claire Walls. 

Lisa Hannes design Optimist using Malabrigo sock. I’d rework the color palette. I like yellows and orange. I’m trying to get my local friends to make it with me.

Sweet Eddie got a haircut and he smells so wonderful. I felt really bad leaving him to get groomed, but he had a good report. He doesn’t like the bath and blow dryer bit, but who does? 

I ended the day with a yummy dinner. My first attempt at stir fry, but it ended up as boiled meat and veggies. I’m sure it will get better second time around. 

Friends, what’s on your needles? Did you see a beautiful habdmade item at the festival? Any new yarn purchases at Rhinebeck? 

Thoughtful Knit Thursday

Hi Knit Friends,

Again I find myself at Thursday and feeling tired. Last week was the same thing filled with navigating work/life balance. I am thankful that I’ve found a new project to calm myself. I may have mentioned a new adventure with writing for publishing. It scares the hell out of me that someone would be interested in my writing. It’s not a hard topic something that I enjoy, but it’s the story telling portion that has me nervous. I value my private life and this writing assignment will challenge me to reveal things that can certainly help others. I turned in my draft last week and received the feedback today. I can’t believe I was so nervous. I guess it goes to show that I need to be more gentle with myself. My new sock project called Patio sock is helping work out my anxieties. I’m using stashed yarn by Dragonfly Fibers and the name escapes me. 

 It has equal parts blue and purple. The pattern repeats are very easy. I am also trying Addi Flip Stix. They are very sturdy and work well with the yarn- not too slippery.

I enjoy reading and listening to words of encouragement. I try to watch Oprah’s #SupersoulSunday shows because they are informative. My reading list has grown so much. One quote from author of Love Warrior (Glennon Doyle Melton) 

I absolutely love this quote because it is confirmation for me that I will be okay. I’ve felt like as a kid there weren’t a lot of messages around to reassure me that life would become bareable. I still have small residual effects of trauma. Knitting helps to sooth those feelings of helplessness and isolation. When I get lost in a new project I feel better. My focus is sharp and the final project is the evidence that I didn’t give up. Just like in life sometimes our circumstances can be one thing, but our optimism and hard work can lead us to resiliency. I am thankful that I no longer rest in stagnation as a safety net. I can rely on books, knitting, and friends to encourage and love me. Friends, what does knitting do for you? Have you used knitting to cope with hard life circumstances? Below is another nice quote I found on IG and the author is unknown (unless someone can find the owner). 

Another exciting project I hope to start this weekend is from my favorite designer/knitter Hunter Hammersen. It’s called Excursion with a discount code until tomorrow. Sorry about the late announcement. I have 2 friends who want to do this. It will be my second cabled project. 

#knit intentions

Hello lovely knit friends,

August is almost over and it had thoroughly kicked my asparagus  *sighs* One of the many things that I am grateful for is my new furbaby Eddie. A sweet pomeranian. 

I’ve only had him for about a week and I don’t miss my sleep that much. He has such an awesome personality and the cats are slowly warming up to him. There is an unspoken agreement and Eddie had felt the need to chase them yet. I’m so happy to have a little face to come home to. Cats are great, but sweet puppies make the world bareable.

And the Olympics was come and gone and I haven’t done a lot of knitting. I’m sad, but understandably Eddie has shifted my priorities. I won’t miss my Thursday knit night so hopefully I’ll be back on my schedule. I’m stick knee deep in my Hunter Hammersen socks Marooned. I managed to suck it up and re-knit them the right size. If they don’t fit then they will be the best gift for somebody.